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FILMSAPRIL 2019

(Trelfer 2016) Dark Cor­ners Review: (100) Fiend With­out a Face
(di Chiera 2009) Death of the Megabeasts
(Fried­kin 1970) The Boys in the Band
(Fried­man 1989) Phan­tom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge
(Trelfer 2019) Dark Cor­ners Review: (349) Phan­tom of the Mall: Eric’s Revenge
(Sas­dy 1985) The Secret Diary of Adri­an Mole: Ep.1
(Winther 2004) The Librar­i­an: Quest for the Spear
(Schu­mach­er 1994) The Client
(Miike 2001) The Hap­pi­ness of the Katakuris [カタクリ家の幸福 ; Katakuri-ke no Kōfuku]
(Trelfer 2019) Dark Cor­ners Review: (350) The Hor­ror Films of F. W. Mur­nau
(Oliv­er 2008) On the Oth­er Hand, Death
(1928) Ear­ly Sound Footage: Unit­ed States
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First-time listening for April 2019

30164. (Dude Mar­tin & His Roundup Gang) Atom Bomb Baby / Wishy Washy Woman [sin­gle]
30165. (Óla­fur Arnalds) Eulo­gy for Evo­lu­tion
30166. (Bob Mould) Sun­shine Rock
30167. (Jan Pieter­szoon Sweel­inck) Psalm 116 for Organ
30168. (Jan Pieter­szoon Sweel­inck) Psalm 140 for Organ
30169. (Jan Pieter­szoon Sweel­inck) Echo Fan­ta­sia #11 for Organ
30170. (Jan Pieter­szoon Sweel­inck) Toc­ca­ta #23 for Organ
30171. (Jan Pieter­szoon Sweel­inck) Ricer­car #7 for Organ
30172. (Jan Pieter­szoon Sweel­inck) Toc­ca­ta #22 for Organ
30173. (Jan Pieter­szoon Sweel­inck) Fan­ta­sia #4
30174. (Jan Pieter­szoon Sweel­inck) Allein zu Dir, Herr Jesu Christ for Organ
30175. (Jan Pieter­szoon Sweel­inck) Echo Fan­ta­sia #12 for Organ
30176. (Jan Pieter­szoon Sweel­inck) Allein Gott in der hoh’ sei her for Organ
30177. (Jan Pieter­szoon Sweel­inck) Pre­lude #27
30178. (Bom­bay Bicy­cle Club) Bom­bay Bicy­cle Club at Mai­da Vale, 2014
30205. (Wreck­less Eric) Great­est Stiffs
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READINGAPRIL 2019

27661. (Oliv­er Diet­rich, et al) Göbek­li Tepe ― Pre­lim­i­nary Report on the 2012 and 2013
. . . . . Exca­va­tion Sea­sons [arti­cle]
27662. (Jean Man­co) Ances­tral Jour­neys ― The Peo­pling of Europe from the First Ven­tur­ers to
. . . . . the Vikings
27663. Fun-Size Beano #84 [comix]
27664. (John F. Hel­li­well, Richard Layard & Jef­frey D. Sachs) World Hap­pi­ness Report 2019
27665. (J. R. Miller) Sky­scrap­ers Hide the Heav­ens: A His­to­ry of Indi­an-White Rela­tions in
. . . . . Cana­da
27666. (Michaël Thevenin & Anna Mikhkian) Le ronde aux mou­tons: pra­tiques de gar­di­en­nage
. . . . . col­lec­tif des trou­peaux com­mu­naux en Arménie [arti­cle]
27667. (Bar­bara Woot­ton) Free­dom Under Plan­ning
(William Brei­d­ing -ed.) Portable Stor­age One [Spring 2019]
. . . . 27668. (William Brei­d­ing) Crow’s Car [edi­to­r­i­al]
. . . . 27669. (Aljo Svo­bo­da) Imper­fect Rec­ol­lec­tions [arti­cle]
. . . . 27670. (Dale Nel­son) Sort of Like Tolkien [arti­cle]
. . . . 27671. (William Brei­d­ing) Mus­ings of an Unlit­er­ary Man [arti­cle]
. . . . 27672. (John Fugazzi) The Piv­ot Point: The Bea­t­les’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lone­ly Hearts Club
. . . . . . . . . Band [arti­cle]
. . . . 27673. (Janet K. Miller) Blue [arti­cle]
. . . . 27674. (William Brei­d­ing) Review of Anni­hi­la­tion by Jeff Van­der­meer [review]
. . . . 27675. (Vin­cent McHardy) Not a Good Day to Die [arti­cle]
. . . . 27676. (Ray Wood) Let­ter of Com­ment [let­ter]
. . . . 27677. (Gary Hub­bard) Let­ter of Com­ment [let­ter]
. . . . 27678. (G. Sut­ton Brei­d­ing) The Gor­gon of Pos­es [arti­cle]
27679. (W. D. Val­gar­d­son) Gen­tle Sin­ners
27680. (Knut Rass­mann -ed.) High Pre­ci­sion Tripolye Set­tle­ment Plans, Demo­graph­ic
. . . . . Esti­ma­tions and Set­tle­ment Orga­ni­za­tion [arti­cle]

Image of the Month

Some hand­some Vic­to­ri­ans not far from my more hum­ble apart­ment.

FILMSMARCH 2019

(Joffe 2017) Tin Star: Ep.1 ― Fun and (S)Laughter
(Rye 2011) Mid­Somer Mur­ders: Ep.91 ― Mur­der of Inno­cence
(Sil­ber­ston 1998) Mid­Somer Mur­ders: Ep.3 — Death of a Hol­low Man
(Rye 2012) Mid­Somer Mur­ders: Ep.92 ― Writ­ten in the Stars
(Tay­lor 1998) Mid­Somer Mur­ders: Ep.4 — Faith­ful Unto Death
(McNaughton 1974) Mon­ty Python’s Fly­ing Cir­cus: Ep.41 ― Michael Ellis
(Moore 1976) Mur­der By Death
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First-time listening for March 2019

30148. Has­saniya Music From The West­ern Sahara And Mau­ri­ta­nia
30149. (John Foxx) Meta­mat­ic
30150. (Queen­srÿche) The Warn­ing
30151. (Daniel Avery) Song for Alpha
30152. (Toshio Hosokawa) Voice­less in Hiroshi­ma, Ora­to­rio for Soloists, Nar­ra­tors, Cho­rus &
. . . . . Tape ad lib
30153. (Juliana Daugh­er­ty) Light
30154. (Child­ish Gam­bi­no) Poindex­ter [mix­tape]
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READINGMARCH 2019

27649. (Michael Breen) The New Kore­ans
27650. (Kon­stan­ti­nos Kopa­nias & Sher­ry C. Fox) Head­shap­ing and Iden­ti­ty at Tell Nad­er
. . . . . [arti­cle]
27651. (M. Ginolfi, et al) Where Does Galac­tic Dust Come From? [arti­cle]
27652. (Hergé) Tintin au Con­go
27653. (John T. Koch) Hα C1α ≠ PC [The Ear­li­est Hall­statt Iron Age Can­not Equal Pro­to-
. . . . . Celtic] [arti­cle]
27654. (W. D. Val­gar­d­son) Thor
Read more »

(Richardson 1965) The Loved One

This is the kind of film that should be seen by hap­pen­stance. A delib­er­ate view­ing can’t match the deli­cious plea­sure of stum­bling upon it by chance. I real­ly shouldn’t even be telling you about it.

In 1947, the British nov­el­ist Eve­lyn Waugh was approached by Hol­ly­wood for a pos­si­ble film­ing of his nov­el Brideshead Revis­it­ed. The book’s two essen­tial com­po­nents were a heavy dose of the mys­ti­cal upper-class Catholi­sism which exists only in Eng­land and bears no resem­blance to Catholi­cism any­where else, and a steamy homo­sex­u­al yearn­ing that man­ages to nev­er men­tion homo­sex­u­al­i­ty. The idea that this would have been made into a film even vague­ly resem­bling the orig­i­nal was ludi­crous, but Waugh was hap­py to let Hol­ly­wood give him an all-expense-paid trip to Los Ange­les to hag­gle. Waugh had no inten­tion of going through with the deal. Waugh was a snob — he was revolt­ed that “low­er-class” ser­vice peo­ple spoke to him as an equal, detest­ed Amer­i­can infor­mal­i­ty, and com­plained about every­thing. But snobs often write the best satire (think Thack­er­ay), as they have no com­punc­tions about hurt­ing people’s feel­ings. Hol­ly­wood is a bizarre, arti­fi­cial, and goofy place even for Amer­i­cans, and Waugh found plen­ty of mate­r­i­al for his next satir­i­cal nov­el, The Loved One, which appeared in 1948. He was par­tic­u­lar­ly fas­ci­nat­ed by Amer­i­cans’ pecu­liar atti­tudes towards death and (to a Brit) weird funer­al cus­toms. The plot is sim­ple: A young Eng­lish­man with a posh edu­ca­tion but no par­tic­u­lar ambi­tion wins a trip to Hol­ly­wood, and stays with an Uncle who is a stal­wart in the expat British com­mu­ni­ty in the film stu­dios. His host com­mits sui­cide, leav­ing him to fend for him­self on this alien plan­et. Attend­ing to his uncle’s funer­al, he becomes involved with Aimée Thanatogenos, an embalmer work­ing at Whis­per­ing Glades Ceme­tery, a spec­tac­u­lar­ly vul­gar Dis­ney­land of Death cre­at­ed by the mega­lo­ma­ni­ac Blessed Rev­erend Glen­wor­thy. He encoun­ters an assort­ment of lunatics, all of them dis­play­ing extreme ver­sions of Amer­i­can cul­ture that Waugh found offen­sive and laugh­able. As in many of Waugh’s books, and many of the same ilk, the “hero” dis­plays no notice­able virtues oth­er than not being one of the loonies. 

Tony Richard­son, a British direc­tor who had scored big with crit­i­cal­ly acclaimed and finan­cial­ly suc­cess­ful films (Look Back in Anger; The Enter­tain­er; A Taste of Hon­ey; The Lone­li­ness of the Long Dis­tance Run­ner; Tom Jones) filmed the book in 1965. The script was writ­ten by the wild­ly unlike­ly com­bi­na­tion of Ter­ry South­ern and Christo­pher Ish­er­wood. South­ern is not much read now, but in 1965 he was in lit­er­ary vogue, and usu­al­ly paired with Kurt Von­negut as a satirist. Ish­er­wood was a gay play­wright and nov­el­ist who had chron­i­cled the sex­u­al under­ground of Weimar Ger­many, and would lat­er reach a wide audi­ence with Cabaret. Waugh had vicious­ly car­i­ca­tured Ish­er­wood in one of his nov­els, but in that cat­ty lit­er­ary crowd such things appar­ent­ly did not mat­ter much. The film script sticks fair­ly close to the book, but adds a some scenes that make it fit in bet­ter with 1965. These addi­tions would, I sus­pect, have been fine with Waugh. Visu­al­ly, the film is a feast. Every shot fills the eye with details just as fun­ny as the sit­u­a­tions and the dia­log. Every cut serves a satir­ic pur­pose. But the real bonan­za is the cast­ing. Aimée Thanatogenos is played to per­fec­tion by Anjanette Cormer, whose remark­able tal­ent was nev­er well-used by Hol­ly­wood. The Eng­lish hero is played by Robert Morse, one of the few Amer­i­can actors at the time who could con­vinc­ing­ly play an Eng­lish­man — while the vul­gar Amer­i­can film mogul is played by Rod­dy Mac­Dowall, then still best known as a for­mer Eng­lish child star. Lib­er­ace turns in a hilar­i­ous per­for­mance as a funer­al direc­tor — he real­ly missed a chance to be a great com­ic film actor. Jonathan Win­ters plays both the Rev­erend Glen­wor­thy and his incom­pe­tent twin broth­er, mak­ing each char­ac­ter a gem. Rod Steiger chews the scenery with the moth­er-obsessed and near­ly psy­chot­ic Mr. Joy­boy. Paul Williams is a child rock­et sci­en­tist. The actu­al Hol­ly­wood Eng­lish Con­tin­gent (reg­u­lar­ly cast as “Lords and but­lers”) essen­tial­ly play them­selves: John Giel­gud, Robert Mor­ley, Alan Napi­er. Mil­ton Berle, James Coburn, Mar­garet Leighton, Bar­bara Nichols, Lionel Stander, and Bernie Kopell do well-craft­ed bits. There are numer­ous Hol­ly­wood in-jokes that the audi­ence could hard­ly have been expect­ed to catch. For exam­ple, the cow­boy film star who is being absurd­ly voice-coached by the stu­dio to play an Eng­lish Lord is played by Robert Eas­t­on. Eas­t­on was him­self a voice coach, and one of the worlds great­est author­i­ties on Eng­lish dialects. Many in the cast were clos­et­ed gays. Tab Hunter plays a tour guide! 

It’s extra­or­di­nary that this satir­i­cal film, made 54 years ago, based on a book writ­ten 71 years ago, remains rel­e­vant and bit­ing­ly fun­ny.

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